Cowon iAudio X5
- Crystal clear audio
- Difficult menus, screen appears blocky
Its fantastic audio quality doesn't make up for its flaws in menu and video support.
Price$ 529.00 (AUD)
Cowon's iAudio X5 media player is a bit of a mixed bag. The device is designed to compete against the Apple iPod or iRiver H320 hard disk-based media players, and offers a wide range of features above and beyond the competition. Unfortunately, its quality audio playback and stylish design is let down by a poor menu and inadequate video support.
The device weighs 150g. A joystick sits on the silky black front face to provide access to the menu system, and it works well.
A colour 1.8", 160 x 128 pixel screen sits on the front face above the navigation buttons, but the quality isn't fantastic and a little hard to see what's happening onscreen - especially if you're watching movies or looking at photos.
A horde of recording options are available, and you can sample audio from the inbuilt microphone, FM radio, or a microphone connected to the line in port. The player supports MP3, OGG, WMA, ASF, FLAC, JPEG, TXT, XviD and WAV file formats and offers 20GB of storage.
The inclusion of the USB host port is an elegant feature that allows you to move images straight from a digital camera to the device: an extremely handy inclusion for those on holiday, as it saves regular visits to photo labs to have images archived onto CD-ROM. Photo and video playback options are included, but the latter is limited to 15 frames per second. Cowon boasts of a 915 minute playback life, which proved accurate during testing.
The sound quality is outstanding--easily among the best we've ever heard from a portable media player--and there's plenty of volume to overcome ambient noise on crowded bus or train trips. A wide range of EQ options and special sound enhancement features also helped boost audio quality.
Unfortunately the X5 suffers a little bit from feature bloat, leaving the interface a little unpolished. There are so many options available that it becomes hard to navigate the menus if you're just looking to playback music.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Synology DS216+ Review
- 3 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 4 Tech21 Evo Xplorer iPhone case review
- 5 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
Latest News Articles
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- Sony shows latest high-end Walkman
- Sydney Airport lost property auction: you'll be amazed at what some people left behind
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSoftware test engineer - Telecom/NetworkACT
- CCPMO AnalystNSW
- FTSAP BASIS HANA ConsultantNSW
- CCNetwork Implementation EngineerNSW
- CCProject Manager - Expense Management SystemVIC
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160902/JP/709Asia
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Datacentre Maintenance) 160817/SA/993Asia
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager (12-month renewable contract)Asia
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/Oracle) 160822/AP/259Asia
- CCDB2 Database AdministratorACT
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 160826/AP/972Asia
- FTCapacity PlannerNSW
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCProgram SchedulerVIC
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- FTSenior IoT / M2M .Net DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Integration Specialist - IP NetworkVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - TelecommunicationVIC
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Cognos/JAVA/J2EE) 160831/SA/122Asia
- CCProgram Director, Cyber Security TransformationNSW
- CCSystems Analyst (IT Security/Network & Systems) 160826/SA/652Asia
- FTImplementation ConsultantNSW
- CCData/ Business AnalystVIC
- FTTandem/NonStop Technical ConsultantWA
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Internet/ Intranet) 160902/SA/222Asia